Parenting a teenager comes with many challenges, and for some families, one of the challenges that may arise is teenage drug abuse. Learning that your child is abusing drugs can be very difficult, but it is important to take action. Knowing what steps to take when your child is abusing drugs can help ensure that you can get your teenager the help that he or she needs. It is never easy to deal with a teenager who is abusing drugs, but addressing the situation may change the course of your child's life and prevent a lifetime of addiction. If you have good reason to believe that your teenager is abusing drugs, take the following steps:
Alert Your Spouse
When your teenager is abusing drugs, it is important to let your spouse know what is going on. The two of you should discuss that facts and determine how you both feel about what is going on. Make sure that you are both on the same page regarding drug use so you can talk to your teenager as a united team. You or your spouse may be angry when you discover that your teenager is abusing drugs, but it is important to set the anger aside when you speak with your child. Remember, you want to help your child, not punish him or her for drug use.
Be Prepared for Anger
You and your spouse will need to confront your teenager together. Let your teen know that you are aware that he or she is abusing drugs, and present any evidence that you may have. It is important to be prepared for your teenager to be angry when he or she is confronted. Your child may lash out or say things that are out of character. The best thing you can do is remain calm. Fighting with your teen will not resolve the serious issue at hand.
Find a Substance Abuse Clinic with a Program for Teenagers
Drug abuse is a serious issue, and in some cases, a person can't simply quit using drugs just because someone told them to. If your child has a dependence on a specific drug, you will need the help of professionals. It is natural to worry when you know that your teenager is abusing drugs, but a substance abuse clinic for teenagers can be a valuable resource. Some substance abuse clinics are inpatient while others operate on an outpatient basis; your child will be evaluated and the right program will be recommended.